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Monday, Sep. 22, 2014
Blessed in times of trouble (09/21/14)
I am one of those people who listen to the TV news channels throughout the day: CNN, Fox News, HLN, and sometimes MSNBC. I can even listen to them in my car on satellite radio. Many days at 4 o'clock in the afternoon I watch Channel 2 News, and then the show "Inside Edition," and then the 5 o'clock news, and then ABC News Tonight at 5:30, and then the 6 o'clock news...
Heed the signs of a heart problem (09/14/14)
My friend had quite a scare this week. She was sitting at her home computer just playing a game and her left arm and shoulder started hurting really bad. At first she tried to ignore it, like most people do, thinking it would go away. But, it only got worse...
School days, times two (09/07/14)
All three of my granddaughters started school for the first time in August. They were all so proud of their new outfits and their backpacks on that first day of school; Charli with her Frozen bag filled with her school supplies and her lunch. Kori and Jojo with their Minnie Mouse bags; Kori's with her napping mat, pull-ups, and sippy-cup; Jojo with her little bag filled with diapers, wipes, and her bottle...
Remembering Fred's Memphis Mardi Gras (08/31/14)
My friend, Fred West, organized the best Mardi Gras parade I have ever been to. It was really my favorite parade of all time. There was a marching band, brightly colored floats, a Mardi Gras King and Queen, balloons and beads, lots of multi-colored beads...
Hope for Heaven in peace (08/24/14)
Several years ago, I drove to West Virginia and sat by the bedside of a dear friend who was in the final days of his life. Fred had terminal cancer and his vital organs were shutting down. I sat with him in his hospital room and prayed while he slept, held his hand and prayed when he was awake, and I was just glad I could be there with my friend...
Find time to say 'I love you' (08/17/14)
We all love to be loved. That is part of the human condition. (Several years ago, I wrote a column on the subject of love, and I hope you'll bear with me and let me share that column with you once again. I hope you enjoy. And I hope you have someone to love.)...
A big time under a big tent (08/10/14)
Tents have always fascinated me. I wanted to be a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout when I was young so I could sleep in a tent. My brother and sister and I would arrange the dining room chairs together so we could drape blankets or sheets over them to make a tent in the living room...
Worshipping as one (08/03/14)
I love tent revivals. I love attending tent revivals, and I love preaching in tent revivals. There is something special about being out in the open air, under that large canopy, gathered with fellow believers, worshipping together as one. I love it!...
The best taste of them all (07/27/14)
I worked as an orderly at a nursing home when I was a teenager, and I met a woman there named Minnie. She had a great personality and she was a joy to care for. I would be called to come and help the nurse's aide move Minnie from her bed to her chair and back again. Minnie had only one leg so she couldn't help much in the transfer. But she made our job easier by being lighthearted and fun-loving...
Date night with the Laity Club (07/20/14)
My wife and I seldom get a "date night." Sunday through Wednesday nights we are busy taking care of our granddaughters, and Thursday through Saturday nights Lynn is working on the OB wing of Harton Hospital. But, Lynn and I try to attend the Bedford County Laity Club meeting on the second Sunday night of the month together...
Lord, let me laugh (07/13/14)
I believe we all need to laugh, or at least crack a smile, at least once a day. Hopefully more. I think we ought to laugh as often as we can. Laughter is the best prescription for what ails you sometimes. After all, Proverbs 17:22 says, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."...
God cleans up after us, as we clean up after kids (07/06/14)
My wife has a saying that she repeats and I think of throughout the day as we are picking up toys and papers and crayons and sippy-cups from the floors and tables in our house. It goes like this: "Cleaning the house while kids are still growing is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing!"...
You're welcome, just as you are (06/29/14)
I recently came across a story that spoke volumes to me, and I wanted to share it with you today. It was recounted by David Wiggs in his message "Who Needs a Welcome?" The author said, "I saw him in the church building for the first time on Wednesday. He was in his mid-70's, with thinning silver hair and a neat brown suit...
Absorbed in reading the Word (06/22/14)
I'm a reader. I thoroughly enjoy reading the newspaper, magazines, a good mystery or action thriller, and the news items that scroll across the bottom of the screen on Fox News and CNN. Nowadays, I do much of my reading on my iPad or iPhone; all those emails, and Facebook posts, and my daily devotionals...
I am a father: I'm glad (06/15/14)
I am a father. I am a grandfather. I am married to the mother of my children. I have tried to be a good father. I have tried to be a good grandfather. I have tried to be a good husband to the mother of my children. I love my children. I love my grandchildren...
Whoever knew that potty time could be such fun? (06/08/14)
It's been a long time since my wife and I have potty trained a little one. And my memory is a little sketchy on the specifics of how we did it back then. But, we are working on potty training one of our granddaughters right now, and she's not really that interested in all the work involved...
Words to live by (06/01/14)
Charles Wesley published an 18-stanza poem in 1740 that spoke of his strong desire to give praise to God for changing his life. He wrote the poem to commemorate the first anniversary of his renewal of faith in Christ. Many Christian churches have this poem in their hymnbooks today, and it has become a favorite hymn for Christians around the world...
Honoring those who gave all (05/25/14)
Memorial Day celebrations were always special for my family when I was little. We would travel to my mother's hometown of Pekin, North Dakota to take part in the festivities. Families would gather in the local cemetery to honor those men who had served in the various wars. The veterans' graves would be decorated with little American flags, and all the graves would be decorated with colorful spring flowers...
On the run, and it's fun (05/18/14)
Jojo is walking and taking on the world by storm! She is our 1-year-old granddaughter, who Lynn says is not walking but "waddling." Jojo is short and round and as cute as she can be, and I guess she does kind of waddle. She struts around the house like a duck as she chases after her big sister, Kori, and her cousin, Charli...
Hats off to mothers! (05/11/14)
I have a book of poems, published in 1917, that my mother gave me years ago. It is poems written by her favorite poet, Edgar A. Guest. This book has been a treasure of mine, and I have quoted some of Guest's poems in a number of my sermons over the years...
Warmth makes all the difference (05/04/14)
One of my earliest memories of Sunday School is of the warm welcome offered to me Sunday after Sunday by Bethie Pond. As a small boy I was fearful of leaving my mother's side and going in to a Sunday School room without her. But then, Bethie became my greeter, my guide and my friend...
I'm one of those grandparents (04/27/14)
Jojo is walking and taking the world by storm! Our 1-year-old granddaughter, Jolie, or Jojo, has recently started walking, and she is exploring her world in new ways now that crawling is mostly in the past for her. It is so much fun watching her toddle across the living room chasing after her big sister, Kori, and her cousin, Charli, as they chase our little dog, Buster, through the house...
The One who got out (04/20/14)
A preacher told the story of one sleepy Sunday afternoon when his son was 5 years old and they drove past a cemetery together. The little boy noticed a large pile of dirt beside a newly dug grave. He pointed and said, "Daddy, look! One got out!" The preacher had to chuckle at his son's reaction, but he said, "Now every time I drive by a cemetery I think of the One who got out, the Resurrected Christ."...
Cruisin' to paradise (04/06/14)
Many folks in Bedford County are returning from Spring Break vacations this weekend. I know people who have been playing at the beach in Florida and on the coast in Alabama; and I have friends who have been on a cruise in the Caribbean. My wife and I recently returned from a vacation in the Caribbean too, and it was a great vacation for us and our friends, Dennis and Ina Pratt, from Memphis...
Awesome views of God's work (03/30/14)
I stood in awe on the balcony of my stateroom gazing out upon the vast expanse of the royal blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. It was truly an amazing spiritual experience for me as I looked out upon the ocean before me, realizing the creator of it all was there with me...
Robin's a sign of spring (03/23/14)
There it was, hopping across the brown winter grass in my front yard: a beautiful robin, with its magnificent red breast. I got excited when I saw that wonderful bird. I've always heard that was a sign that spring was on the way. I'm like everyone else, longing for a break in the weather, ready for spring...
The kiss that makes it better (03/16/14)
My granddaughter, Kori, crawled up onto my bed the other morning and held her finger up to me and said, "My finger hurts." Then, with those sweet, sad eyes she looked at me and said, "Papa, kiss it!" How could I say no to that precious little girl? So, Papa kissed his little baby's finger...
Influence of parents shapes children's lives (03/09/14)
Someone once asked me what the most formative experience of my Christian life was, and I found that to be an easy question to answer. It had to have been the godly influence of a Christian mother. Alpha Margaret Tangen Dezotell Scott raised all of her 5 children in church and she set a godly example for us...
Tough times always make us stronger (03/02/14)
"Problems are like washing machines. They twist, they spin and knock us around. But in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before." (Ain't that the truth!) I read that quote this week, and I like it! Life is filled will problems for all of us. Sometimes it seems like it rains down on us, one problem after another...
How those veggies have changed! (02/23/14)
There is a TV commercial that shows a little boy sitting at the dinner table with a look of frustration on his face, the voice of his mother booming in the background, "You can't leave the table until you eat your vegetables!" The next frame shows him still sitting there, aged many years, with grey hair and a long beard. The vegetables are still sitting there too...
He can do amazing things (02/16/14)
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see." (John Newton) "Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I?" (Isaac Watts)...
Forgiven -- and welcome to return (02/09/14)
My friend, Bob Landis, opened our monthly council meeting at church with a devotional message on forgiveness. He read us a story that he came across a while back, and I wanted to share it with you. It goes something like this. A convict was about to be released from prison and he wrote to his family telling them that fact...
Celebrate life, start to finish (02/02/14)
The countdown had begun! In 10 days....in 9 days....in 8 days....in 7 days...in 6 days...in 5 days. On Friday she came to me and said, "Papa, in 4 days I will be 5 and you are invited!" My oldest granddaughter, Charli, celebrated her fifth birthday this week. She had been so excited leading up to the big day...
The great school of life (01/26/14)
I am going back to school this year. My application has been accepted, and I am now a student at Emory University's Candler School of Theology. I will once again be reading text books, writing papers, and taking tests. I will be living in a college dorm in Atlanta from the middle of July until the middle of August, and coming home on the weekends...
Moments of seeing new life (01/19/14)
The morning my granddaughter Koriana Lynn was born, I was getting ready to fly to Arizona for a board meeting at the Native American children's home I am affiliated with. Kori was born at about 4:30 a.m. at Harton Hospital in Tullahoma. My ride to the airport was coming to pick me up at 6:30 a.m. here in Shelbyville...
Help in getting healthy (01/12/14)
The most common New Year's resolutions here in the US involve people's desire to lose weight. There are a whole lot of ads on TV about new weight loss programs. Professionals are interviewed on news programs and talk shows about proper weight loss techniques...
Already time to celebrate in 2014 (01/05/14)
Alas, it is January 2014! January is that ominous month when so many people talk about starting things over. January 1st is celebrated around the world with revelry and wild parties, excessive drinking and lots of kisses. Dubai held the honors this year of holding the largest fireworks display in history as the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31 and it slipped into January 1, 2014...
Give, and not just at Christmas (12/29/13)
My granddaughters seemed overwhelmed on Christmas morning as they opened present after present, and then moved from one toy to another. Kori finally looked like she just didn't know what to do or which way to turn. Jolie just wore herself out and fell asleep...
Good news that will last forever (12/22/13)
The Prophet Isaiah wrote, "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah's prophecy was fulfilled in the birth of the One we know as Jesus Christ...
Reach out to 'the least of these' (12/15/13)
I read a story about a time St. Francis of Assisi was traveling across the country and he saw a leper standing by the side of the road. The man's face and body were covered with open sores. St. Francis was so moved with the man's pitiful condition that he jumped from his horse, ran to the man, and hugged him close to himself. St. Francis began to weep and pray for the leper. When he looked into the man's face, St. Francis was suddenly looking into the face of Jesus...
'I just want to be with you' (12/08/13)
Early in the morning my granddaughter, Kori, opens my bedroom door just a crack and peers in at me lying in bed. I see her little head silhouetted in the doorway. Then I hear her sweet little voice saying, "Hi, Papa!" I usually greet her with, "Good morning, baby girl!"...
A year-around attitude of gratitude (12/01/13)
"If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is 'Thank You,' it will be enough." --Meister Eckhart Many times, as I lead my congregations in prayer, I pray a simple prayer such as this, "Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!" We have just celebrated the annual Thanksgiving holiday, but thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day. It needs to be a regular part of our everyday lives...
Study the skies, and believe (11/24/13)
I remember the first time I drove across the desert southwest at night and noticed the sky filled with billions of stars. I pulled over along the road and turned off the lights on my car. There were no nearby towns or ranches; the moon wasn't visible; and there were no lights other than the sky filled with stars...
A gift that gives in return (11/17/13)
There are 38 shopping days until Christmas. Oh, boy! I am so excited! I can hardly stand it! Well, maybe I'm exaggerating just a little; maybe more than a little. I am not much of a shopper, and most of the time I am one of those last minute Christmas shoppers...
Look for the pony in life (11/10/13)
Sometimes we need an attitude adjustment. I came across a story on Church Funnies, about a family that had identical twin sons; but their only resemblance to each other was their looks. If one thought it was too cold, the other one thought it was too hot. If one thought the music was too loud, the other one thought it was not loud enough. They were opposites in every way but their appearance. The one son was a pessimist, and his brother was an optimist...
Here's your sign: Make it a good one (11/03/13)
I have seen some interesting signs hanging in different places over the years. One of my favorites is hanging near the cash register at the Bell Buckle Café (one of my favorite dining establishments). It says, "Don't try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and it annoys the pig."...
Kids add a 'spice' to all church services (10/27/13)
Riley asked her parents if she could sit with her friend Abby at church on Sunday morning, and she was told "No" because many times she doesn't pay attention to the sermon when she does. Her parents quiz her after the service to see if she was listening to the message that I preached...
Temptation escape route is easy to find (10/20/13)
A woman had started a new diet, and so she purposely chose a new route to drive to work so she wouldn't have to drive past her favorite bakery: the one with the windows filled with all kinds of scrumptious goodies. One morning she forgot and took the old route, and there on the right was that bakery looming up ahead, the neon sign beckoning to her. She could almost smell the wonderful aroma of baked goods...
Dysfunction at its finest (10/13/13)
There are eight of us abiding here in the "Dezotell Home for Dysfunctional Living." Eight humans and one dog; at least there is only one dog at this point. Someone once said that there's nothing that makes you more insane than family. Or more happy. Or more exasperated. Or...more secure...
The benefits of joy (10/06/13)
This week I was making funny faces at my five month old granddaughter so I could see her pretty smile and maybe even get her to laugh. My daughter laughed instead, and then she told my wife about the ugly faces I was making at Jolie. She then commented on the many times she has seen people make these funny faces at the baby, wondering if they knew how stupid they look...
Keep both eyes on the road (09/29/13)
I was walking through the parking lot of a grocery store in Murfreesboro this week when a car whizzed right in front of me to get into the parking space I was almost right in front of. The car missed me by just inches. The woman driving the car jumped out and headed at a near gallop into the store, never stopping to apologize or even acknowledge that I was there. I guess that she didn't realize that she nearly ran into me as I was walking in front of her...
Helping out: One of life's great thrills (09/22/13)
"Non nobis solum nati sumus." That is a famous quote from Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman politician and philosopher. For those of us who don't speak Latin on a regular basis it translates to English as, "Not for ourselves alone are we born."...
Silent, yet still there (09/15/13)
Years ago, following World War II, a short poem was found carved on a cellar wall in Cologne, Germany. The cellar was a place where many Jews had hidden during the holocaust. The words of this poem have been translated, "I believe in the sun even when it is not shining. I believe in love even when I cannot feel it. I believe in God even when he is silent."...
Heroes are in our midst (09/08/13)
On Sept. 11, 2001, many heroic Americans gave their lives as they bravely went to the aid of those trapped in the Twin Towers. Firemen and police officers responded without hesitation to the calls that went out for assistance. Many of them lost their lives...
Recliner filled with kids, love (09/01/13)
My recliner sure is getting crowded these days as all three of my granddaughters want to sit with Papa at the same time. If I'm holding Baby Jolie, it's not long and Sister Kori has to get in the act, and then along comes Cousin Charli. It's all the more fun for dear old Grandpa though...
Fill your mind with good things (08/25/13)
When I was in Bible college, I worked as an orderly in a nursing home. I got close to a number of the residents there and I would visit with them when I could during the work day, and sometimes I would come back on my off-hours to spend time with those folks...
Miss Nancy was a true saint of God (08/18/13)
One thing I do as a pastor is attend a lot of funerals. Sometimes I officiate at the services, and other times I am there as one of the mourners. Recently I attended the funeral of a sweet Christian woman who passed away just prior to her 96th birthday...
All that needs to be said (08/11/13)
"I'm speechless!" "I'm at a loss for words!" "I don't know what to say!" "Words can't explain how I'm feeling right now!" I've heard those expressions used many times over the years, and they are usually spoken right before someone goes ahead and speaks...many words...showing they know what to say and they know how to express their feelings quite well...
Positive lives leave an impact (07/28/13)
I received a phone call one day from a young man who got my name and number from someone he called a mutual friend. He asked if I remembered his mother, whom years ago I helped get into a drug rehabilitation program in Chicago. I didn't remember the name, but over the years I had helped so many young men and women get into Christian rehabilitation programs that it is hard to remember all of them...
Find your magic shoes (07/21/13)
"I still have my feet on the ground, I just wear better shoes!" That quote is attributed to Oprah Winfrey. Supposedly Marilyn Monroe said, "Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world." Oprah, and Marilyn before her, loved their shoes...
When it's time to fly (07/14/13)
Every time I get ready to go on a trip and fly somewhere across the country I get really excited. For weeks and maybe months in advance I tell people how excited I am. I recently flew out west, and I think my friends and family were getting tired of hearing, "I'm so excited," from me before the trip...
Blessings flow in the dust (07/07/13)
Psalm 113:9 says, "He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!" That scripture tells the story of the Naomi House in Jackrabbit, Ariz., where Linda Thompson has been the foster-mother to hundreds of Native American children since the early '90s...
A story about blessing others down the line (06/23/13)
I came across a story (based on a song by Clay Walker) recently that touched me. It goes like this: A man by the name of Bryan Anderson was driving home late one night along a lonely stretch of highway when he noticed a woman standing by a car at the side of the road. She was an older woman and looked like she needed help...
Father's Day from a new perspective (06/16/13)
This Father's Day is a special one for me, because it is also my granddaughter Kori's second birthday. I have come to realize that one of the best things about being a father is that I have also gotten to be a grandfather. I am so proud to say that I am the grandfather of three beautiful and sweet little girls: Charli, Kori and Jolie...
Bible-thumpin' hurts yourself, helps no one (06/09/13)
According to news reports, Evelyn Mills Moore of Kings Mountain, N.C., and Ina Garrett of Selmer have one thing in common: their choice of weapons. Both women were arrested on charges stemming from beating someone with a Bible. Evelyn got into a scuffle with another woman and used both her fists and her Bible to beat the lady...
Adversity doesn't sideline dreams (06/02/13)
Sometimes our dreams are realized through adversity, and a vision is developed through hardship. Our dear friend, Linda Thompson, has been ministering among the Native Americans in northern Arizona since the mid-eighties. Her dream of establishing a Native American children's ministry was made all the more real through difficult times that she was confronted with...
In times of tragedy, turn to God (05/26/13)
Sometimes it seems as if tragedy surrounds us. In times like that it's easy for us to wonder where God is in the midst of it all. We tend to ask, "How could God let something like this happen?" We try to find meaning where there seems to be none. We ask, "Why?" and "How?"...
Put back-handed compliments in back seat (05/19/13)
One day I told my mother-in-law that her daughter sure was pretty (my wife of course), and she said, "Well, you're handsome in your own way, too." Handsome in my own way? Handsome in my own way? I had to laugh. I wasn't sure if that was a compliment or not. Maybe it was almost a compliment. But barely...
Mom's prayers led home, and to Christ (05/12/13)
It was the spring of 1972 when a friend and I saw the movie, "The Last Picture Show," at the Empire Theater in downtown Grand Forks, N.D. This film was a coming of age story about several high school students in a small town on the plains of Texas....
Life through the eyes of 3 little girls (05/05/13)
On Wednesday, April 17 at 11:20 a.m. my third granddaughter, Jolie Camille, was born. She weighed 6 pounds and 13.6 ounces and was 20 inches long. She is a beautiful little girl with a full head of lush black hair, and she has already got her papa wrapped around her little finger...
Big or small, He'll be there (04/28/13)
Years ago when I was a student in Bible College in Missouri, I was asked to go and preach at a church in a small town in the Ozarks. A friend of mine accompanied me on that journey. She was to provide the special music and lead worship. We drove through the snow covered hills on that Sunday morning, and following the directions we had been given we found the little church we were scheduled to minister at...
Find God's blessings today (04/21/13)
Annie Johnson Flint knew her share of hard times in life. Her mother died shortly after giving birth to Annie's little sister. She was just a toddler herself when she lost her mother. Annie's father, who was terminally ill, soon realized he couldn't raise Annie and her little sister on his own. So, Mr. Johnson gave his daughters to the Flint family who agreed to raise them. They adopted the two sisters when Mr. Johnson died...
Graves don't hold us down (04/14/13)
I have stood by the side of many graves in the last several years. Most pastors do at one time or another. We help families and loved ones say their goodbyes. But then sometimes we are part of the families that are saying farewell. Two and a half years ago, I stood at my mother's graveside in North Dakota as she was laid to rest...
Going the distance with a beautiful wife (04/07/13)
Thirty years ago I said, "I do!" I was gazing into the eyes of the most beautiful woman I had ever met when the preacher asked me if I would take Lynn to be my wife, and I said, "I do!" Thirty years ago she said, "I do!" And she made me the happiest man on earth...
Blessed Easter! Jesus Christ is risen! (03/31/13)
May your Easter Celebration be blessed on this glorious morning of remembrance. The following words, taken from Holy Scripture, are from the Gospel of John, chapters 19 and 20. And Jesus, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. ...
Live, laugh and love (03/24/13)
Years ago, my sister, Cindi, had the words "Live, Laugh, Love" emblazoned across her kitchen wall. I have always liked that phrase. Over the years I have seen it in many other places as well: stitched on pillows or throws; on plaques and wall hangings; displayed in homes or displayed in shops...
Humor carries a healing touch (03/17/13)
I made a visit to the foot doctor recently. When I was called into the exam room, the assistant asked me why I had come to see the doctor that day. "My big toe fell off and I was hoping the doctor could put it back on for me," I told her with a serious expression on my face...
Living the American Dream humbles me (03/10/13)
Back in the 70s, when I was a Bible college student in Southern California, I made a trip to Tijuana, Mexico with a group of classmates. We went to visit an orphanage run by a Mexican minister and his wife. Many of the children that were living in this establishment had been abandoned on the streets of the city or were dropped off at the gates of the compound. Their parents felt like they could no longer care for their children so they just left them...
Pets add love, laughs to our lives (03/03/13)
I have had a lot of different pets over the years and each of those little critters has added something special to my life. Although I never had a snowball for a pet, the idea does intrigue me....
Great is Thy faithfulness (02/24/13)
One thing I've learned about my God over the years is that He is faithful. He has proven to me, time and time again, that I can count on Him to see me through whatever I may be facing. I have learned that in good times and in bad times, I can depend on God to be there for me...
'Wretches' find grace to change (02/17/13)
"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see." (John Newton) "Alas! and did my Savior bleed And did my Sovereign die? Would He devote that sacred head For such a worm as I?" -- Isaac Watts...
It will come back to you (02/10/13)
There was a preacher who had moved to a new church, and he soon discovered that this church didn't have a lawn mower. So he decided he would look for someone to mow the lawn or maybe he'd have to buy a used lawnmower. One day the preacher saw a young man walking by the church pushing a lawnmower. So the preacher said, "Excuse me, son, are you looking for a job?"...
'It is well, it is well with my soul' (02/03/13)
There's a hymn that brings comfort to me when I find myself going through difficult times. It is the old standard, "It Is Well With My Soul." The writer, Chicago attorney Horatio Spafford, had just gone through the darkest period of his life when he felt compelled of the Holy Spirit to pen the words to this song...
The game of life (01/27/13)
My mother loved watching "Wheel of Fortune." Every weekday evening between 6:30 and 7 p.m., I knew that I would find her at home watching TV. She almost thought that Pat Sajak and Vanna White were personal friends of hers. Many days I would call during that show to talk to her because I knew she would be in her apartment watching the wheel spin...
Don't judge; 'go, and sin no more' (01/20/13)
I saw a sign recently that read, "Do not judge others just because they sin differently than you." Those signs that appear throughout our communities, whether they are in front of a church or a business, are there to make us think. And I have been thinking about that one a lot...
The children of Dodo (01/13/13)
Have you ever heard of the son of Dodo? Probably not. Maybe you have heard of the dodo bird, the extinct, flightless bird from the island of Mauritius. He's long gone. Or you may have heard of the now retired Brazilian soccer player, Ricardo Lucas, who was nicknamed, Dodo...
Time to start your revolution (01/06/13)
What do you do at the beginning of a new year? If you're like most Americans, you think about making the old familiar "New Year's Resolution." I think what we all really need instead of a New Year's Resolution is a New Year's Revolution. Isn't that what we really want anyway?...
Pictures tell the true story (12/30/12)
My granddaughter Kori loves to look at pictures; pictures on the wall, on our shelves, on my iPad, or in photo albums, it doesn't matter; she loves to look at pictures. We have a number of little photo albums that hold one picture per page; Kori loves those...
Trees symbolize life, loss: and a nation and God who care (12/23/12)
One of my favorite pictures of my father, Fred Dezotell, was a black and white photo of him standing on a ladder decorating a 20 foot tall Christmas tree. The tree was put up every year in the grand ballroom of the Student Union at The University of North Dakota. Dad was the maintenance supervisor for the Student Union and decorating that tree was a job he looked forward to every year...
A special time to share with all (12/16/12)
My wife treated me to a pre-Christmas date night this week. We went to the Opryland Hotel in Nashville for the Lorrie Morgan Enchanted Christmas Dinner and Show. The meal was delicious and the music was great. We had a real good time together. We enjoyed walking through the hotel looking at all the greenery and the Christmas decorations. And the dinner and show were really a special treat...
Memories of Grandma Fontaine (12/09/12)
Grandma Fontaine was always busy in the kitchen. When my family would drop by to visit we would usually find Grandma working at the stove or cutting things up on the kitchen counter. She always had an apron on over her dress and she would keep her tissues in one of the pockets on that apron. Those tissues were ever ready to wipe her nose or mop her brow...
Countless reasons to give thanks (12/02/12)
In many Christian worship services a hymn known as the Doxology is sung after the collection of the offerings. We do that in the churches where I serve, and we would sing those familiar words in the church that I grew up in. "Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost."...
Many reasons to be thankful following fire (11/25/12)
The other afternoon, my wife and I were busy going about our business around the house. Lynn was in my granddaughters' room straightening up the toys and hanging clothes in the closet, and little Kori sat on the bed watching her Nana work. I was getting things ready for a service to be held that evening at a local nursing home...
Change, like vegetables, grows on you (11/18/12)
One of my favorite TV commercials shows a little boy sitting at the kitchen table with a look of anger and disgust on his face, the voice of his mother booming in the background, "You can't leave the table until you eat your vegetables!" The next frame shows him still sitting there, aged many years, with grey hair and a long beard. The vegetables are still sitting there too...
Breaking news: Children's TV shows are great! (11/11/12)
One of my greatest joys is being the grandfather to these two sweet little girls by the name of Charli and Kori. Just the thought of those little ladies brings a smile to my face and floods my heart with joy. Yes, they bring me joy! Koriana and I were sitting together in my recliner the other day watching Sesame Street...
Put simply: Pray (11/04/12)
I was raised by a praying mother. The last thing Mom did before closing her eyes for sleep was to read her Bible and her devotional book and pray for her family and friends. She set that type of an example for me and my four siblings. Alpha Tangen Dezotell Scott prayed for her children up until the day that she died and I have felt Mom's prayers many times over the years...
Church's history still being made (10/21/12)
I have the privilege of serving as the pastor of two Methodist churches; both congregations are great people who love God, their church, and their communities. We recently celebrated the 145th anniversary of Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, a rural fellowship whose building has sat on the same plot of ground since 1867. The land was deeded to the church in August of 1867...
The land where we'll never get old (10/21/12)
Although I'm not yet 60, there are some days that I feel like I'm getting old. My knees make funny clicking noises when I walk up the front steps, and sometimes going up the stairs to my office in the house is not real easy. My wife says to me every once in a while, "Well, we are getting old!"...
Songs are music to my ears (10/07/12)
I had the privilege this week of singing with the Senior Citizens Choir at one of the local nursing homes. There sure was some good singing going on with that group. I was one of the youngest members of the choir, but they didn't exploit my youthfulness by making me stand alone and sing "Jesus Loves Me" or "Deep and Wide" to delight the crowd. They just let me sing along, and it was great...
Many days can be the best days ever (09/30/12)
Last spring, my wife and I took our granddaughter, Charli, and her daddy to the Calsonic Arena to see the circus. At the time, Charli said it was "the best day ever." I have thought about that phrase a lot since then. And I seem to have had quite a few of those "best days ever" since then...
Doug Dezotell
Memories and Musings